Posted by dustin gent | File under : , , ,
It has come to my attention that my Zenfolio subscription is set to "expire" on February 15th, this upcoming Friday. The renewal fee is $120 for the premium, which I think it is called. When I signed up last Feb, it was $80. My domain name is paid for, and that is like $10 a year.

Even before I got the email from Zenfolio, kindly reminding me that I need to pony up $120, I was looking at alternatives. Don't get me wrong, Zenfolios' customer service has been good, with what limited help I have needed - that is always good when you do not need to use the customer service. In that aspect, I have been happy with Zen.

What has got me looking at alternatives is more customization and a different look. One of the downfalls of Zen or even SmugMug for that matter, is that there is only so much you can do. That is the  trade off from spending the big bucks on a custom site. It is actually cheaper to pay for a custom site, as you just pay a developer once for design - and a good developer will have tools incorporated where you don't need their help with uploading images.

Of course, one has to most likely be making monies from their craft to justify the $1000+ it cost for a custom site. That is why sites like Zenfolio and SmugMug are popular. Fairly straight forward and cheap.

So, what am I going to do? I am going to have a WordPress based site. Wordpress is a popular platform, and there are a TON of amazing themes that are built on the WP engine. Themeforest is a good starting point. The theme I am going to get will cost me probably $70-$100 and hosting through a site like BlueHost will be like $60 or less. Yes, this does add up to more than $120, BUT next year my fee will be the hosting, which will be $60 or whatnot.

I want my site to stand out, to be fun - not all serious and such. Anyone who knows me or shoots with me knows I am not at all serious when I am shooting. Most of the time I am laughing or goofing off. I want this to convey over into my website. Doing something out of the norm, and I am hoping this will be live by the end of the month. I will be gone for 6 days, and then will probably be working 10 days straight or so, and may not get a chance to get a ton done, especially with new photos to be editing.

Speaking of which, I will have some gear to accompany me this year. Obviously the camera is "new" to me, as is the Samyang 14mm 2.8, but I JUST ordered an amazing Nikon Nikkor 200mm f/4 prime. Nikon has some amazing lenses that are manual focus, and they are pretty cheap too! I got this 200mm for $111 shipped - should have it in my hand by the 19th; just in time for my trip! I will be also picking up one more lens. Kind of a hole in my line up, with a 14mm and 200mm. I may try to get a zoom or a 50mm and 35mm prime - gotta sniff out a deal :)

Anyways, here is an image taken last Tuesday with the 14mm lens, converted to B&W.


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